The chronicle of syn+pathy

Project Details

Student/s: Erianna Vaina, Aliki Vaina

Date: August 22, 2016

The past, present and future are not regarded as separate independent spheres, but rather synchronically, within a mindset of Sympathy [syn+pathos/συν+πάθος]. The practice of managing the past is reinterpreted through a contemporary filter. With the rise of science, in an all-too linear way of thinking about time, it seems that the world changed irrevocably, separating us for ever from our ancestors. At such a degree even, that the past cannot survive into the present, but only as a selected symbolic relic of passed eras. According to the topological approach, we notice pleats and folds in the fabric of time. If the Past has not passed completely, but some of it remains -here and now- residing in the material, then one may see the things around us as gatherings of different time scales. If the past in modern thinking triumphs precisely because of its pastness, we – on the other side- find more alluring the traces of its presence in the present. Polychrony recognizes the simultaneous cohabitation of heterogeneous temporalities within a material object. It is basically a search for common ground, even while remaining in mutual opposition. Let us name this differentiated interpretation of the passage of time, influenced by a symbiotic relation of our past, present and future, “temporality of sympathy”.
In this context, we- humans- are not a free-standing subject in the center of the world. Rather, we see ourselves as being together and “with” the world- to be distinguished from “in” the world, in terms of affecting and getting affected. Thus, human beings “syn”* the cosmos, human beings in sympathy with the world around us, and in extension, humans in sympathy with our past, present and future. We wonder whether the formal institutions of managing the architectural past are capable of absorbing such type of changes in their general guidelines, or can they only act restrictively and conservatively in return? Through the temporality of sympathy, we reinterpret the terms of Authenticity and Authorship- two issues that never ceased to be in the limelight of the specialists’ discussions. We search for alternatives to the dead ends brought by the severe divisions that the two terms imposed to the practice of managing the old. We consider all these in-between positions that are mostly ignored. Architecture has now freed itself from the linear temporality with which it was interwoven since the 18th century. The linear interpretation of time caused the flattening of the Palimpsest in architecture and the loss of its complexity. All the while, imposing a static view of the building as an object defined in space and time. Taking in account though the temporal dimension of building, the building now ceases to be the product of only one epoch and only one author, but is rather understood as an unfinished process of becoming -in the making that is- by a number of creative agents. / by various creative agents.

*syn: the greek world for plus (+)

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